Manchester United: 5 Players They Must Say Goodbye To And Who to Replace Them!!
I am a huge Manchester United Fan. I take so much pleasure in watching the greatest team in the world, strutting their stuff in a sell out Old Trafford Crowd, while rocking in the Stretford End.
Last season for any other club would have been a success. But for Manchester United, second place is never good enough. Unfortunate to miss out on the Premier League by a point, Disappointing to exit in the Champions League to a quality strike from (and it pains me to say this) Ajen Robben, it is now time for United to rebuild.
As part of the rebuilding process, i feel that there maybe some deadwood in the squad to put it politely. After the world record sale of Ronaldo for £70 million plus, many United fans were expecting at least one or two major signings from Sir Alex but that never came about which is to Fergie's perogative and who can argue with that.
But with Chelsea starting on fire, Manchester City purchase happy etc it may be time for Sir Alex to go back to the drawing board so that this season we can clear up.
The following slide show will look at who i believe should go and whom should release them.
Out: 1) Owen Hargreaves
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When Owen Hargreaves first burst onto the scene with Bayern Munich in 2000, it was clear to see that this was a player that would give his all to the team. The only problem being, what position suited him best. He soon developed into a player that was tough in the tackle, could read a game well in the centre of midfield and had a solid passing range.
While at Bayern, he matured into a World Class midfielder in his position. Soon a number of countries were sniffing around for his registration to represent them on the world stage. Eventually he chose England. Even though he was recognised amongst his peers as a star in Europe, he did not have the same reputation with England. He was used mainly as a squad player and cover for other members. Fans could not relate to the England international and soon boos were heard amongst the England faithful after a few shakey performances.
But credit where credit is due, Hargreaves never let the fans opinions get him down. He knuckled down and worked his socks off giving a 110% every game. He fought of criticism and was regarded as England's best player at the World Cup in 2006 and later awarded England Player Of The Year for 2006.
Following the World Cup, Hargreaves publicly stated his desire to "return" to England and ply his trade in the Premier League. After a year of a number of clubs monitoring the situation, United got their man on July 2007 for £17 Million.
In his first season with United he was integral in winning the Premier League and Champions League. But after there it was all down hill.
Why should he leave United?
When United signed him, he was signed as someone who would be a player to build the team around. He was signed to strengthen a relatively weak midfield. But United knew he had injury problems. In his career he has had persistant knee injuries, he has broken his leg and other bones on numerous occasions.
Since signing in 2007 he has only made about 30 appearances in total and has suffered a further knee injuries in both knees. It is rumoured that every time he has got close to a first team return, his head is not right and he is afraid of his next tackle. With the game now being faster and more phsyical, it is a shame to say that i think Hargreaves may have past it. I can't seem him making a future return to the first team. He has earnt a lot of money while injured. I think it may be time for him to hang up his boots, not worry about trying to get into the first team and get his body in order. I think that United should make some position for him at the club aiding Solskjaer with the reserves and youth set ups respectively.
Out: 2) Anderson
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Anderson burst onto the scene as a midfield superkid. After succesfull a successful spell at Gremio in Brazil, he moved onto Porto. While at Porto he won all domestic honours with the portuguese side over two years.
After a superb FIFA World Under 17 Championships representing Brazil, United scouts started to monitor his progress. By the end of the tournament, Anderson won the Golden Ball Trophy. The Golden Ball Trophy is awarded to the most valuable player of the tournament.
After a year of scouting and watching the midfielder, United decided to take a risk on a "star of the future". United got their man on 30th May 2007 for £18 million.
Anderson was signed as a midfielder of a similar mould to Steven Gerrard. A box to box midfielder, who was able to score goals, play behind the strikers and was tough in the tackle. While at United he has won the Champions League, 2 Premier League Titles, League Cup and FIFA World Club Cup championships.
One of his successes as a United player came against Arsenal when he ran the midfield. This lead to United dedicating a song to the success and his dominance of Cesc Fabregas.
Why should he leave United?
While Anderson is only 22, there is still chance he could develop. But at United, fans have never truly saw his full potential. He was signed as a player who would score goals from midfield. To date, he has only scored 1 goal.
The boy definately seems to be an enigma. One game he is world class, dominates the game and has control in midfield similar to Darren Fletcher last season, but other games, he looks a fish out of water and that the game is too big a level for him. The game sometimes passes his him by and he can known to give the ball away far too much when in possession.
Secondly, there is his attitude. Sir Alex has had a few fallings out with the Brazilian over his focus and desire to succeed. He has reported that on some occasions his head has not been ready for games. One one occasion he has been known to have left the ground early much to the annoyance of Fergie.
Finally, while injured he was involved in a car accident while supposedly injured while under the influence of drink. It was reported that if it wasn't for two individuals he would have ended up dead. This is not the sort of attitude and dedication that United fans expect from one of their players.
I feel that United should cash in while they can and spend what little money they can get while he is of some value due to his age. I do hope he proves me wrong but time will tell.
Out: 3) Gary Neville
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Gary is a United LEGEND! There is not more to say on the matter.
He is one of the best right backs ever to have graced a football pitch. He has won every domestic honour there is to achieve in the game. As an England International he is one of the most capped players ever to play for his country with 85 caps.
Gary is one of them players that is adored by the fans of his club and hated by everyone else. Even though this is the case, they would gladly include him in their squads if given the chance due to the respect for his ability and will to succeed.
Last season, he defied critics and doctors to return to the side after a few years of injuries. He was so impressive towards the back end of last season that with England's right back crisis, there was rumours that he would be included into the England Squad for the 2010 World Cup. Unfortunately, Glen Johnson proved his fitness and Gary did not go to South Africa.
Why he should leave United?
There is no doubting he is a legend and i for one will be sadder than most when he does decide to hang up his boots. But like all good things, they have to come to an end. Like Giggs, and Scholes he is in his twilight of his career, but unlike these two, Nev is started to feel the injuries a little bit more and it is taking him longer to recover.
I don't doubt that on his day he will give a game for anyone, also he is still so deadly when he is in position to get a cross into the danger zone. I just feel now that it may be one injury to many for captain fantastic.
I feel that the Club should honour this legend and make him ambassador for Manchester United like Bryan Robson and Bobby Charlton. I also feel that he should take up a coaching role within the club, working with youngsters or as a joint number two to Fergie with Mike Phelan. You never know, Gav may be the bosses replacement, stranger things have happened.
Out: 4) Gabriel Obertan
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Obertan is a tricky winger with pace that can either play on the right or left flank. He is also experienced in playing a striker role if needs be.
The Frenchman started his career as a youth at FC Paris. He spent a year there before being picked up by Ligue 1 side Paris St-Germain. After spending a year with the youth sides of PSG, he impressed the scouts at Clairefontaine, the infamous French Footballing Academy. At Clairefontaine he managed to develop considerably since his FC Paris days. Again he impressed Ligue 1 scouts, this time Bordeaux were the side that won his signature in 2005.
In his first year at Bordeaux he was put into the youth/reserve team before he was ready for first team action. Following a further year impressing in the reserve side he was promoted into the first team the following season (2006) and signed his first professional contract. He made his first team debut at the age of 17 and went on to win 17 appearances that season, 16 of the coming from the bench.
In his second season as a professional he went on to play a further 26 matches, scoring 2 goals. Unfortunately for Obertan, the appearances again came mostly from the bench. Every time we played he seemed to impress, but with the team fighting for the title that year, then Bordeaux coach and ex-United defender, Laurent Blanc believed that he was not experienced enough for the run in and the intensity of the games that he sent him on loan to L'Orient for further first team experience. While at L'Orient he played 15 games scoring one goal.
By the end of the 2009 season, after working his way through the France National Youth teams, he was involved in the Toulon Tournament where he was named player of the tournament, catching the eyes of the Manchester United scouts in the process.
Following his success, he went on to sign for the Red Devils on 8th July 2009 for £3 million.
Why Should He Leave United?
Like Anderson he is still only 21/22 and there is still chance he will develop into a quality player. But in his first season at United he only made 7 apperances all season. If you think that by this age Ronaldo was already in his fourth season as a first team regular, it has to question is Obertan up to the United standard fans expect of their players.
In the 7 games, there is only one that will stand out for any United fans and that came when Michael Owen scored a Hatrick against Wolfsburg in the Champions League where Obertan was involved in all three goals.
For me, the player is too inconsistent, he drifts in and out of games he plays and the game passes him by. There are signs that he will be a good player, but they are only in small doses. It is not just the first team where he performs like this, it is also with the reserves on the many occasions i have watched them play last season.
It goes without saying that when United came in for him, his boss at the time, Laurent Blanc stated that Obertan was by far the finished article and he was surprised that they were even in for him. He stated that Obertan's mind and attention can drift in games which then results in poor performances. Blanc also believed that the United standard was a football standard that was too much for the winger to achieve.
At the end of this season, if Fergie is not going to play the winger in competitive games, then he should look to offload before his value decreases. Also if the boy does not show further signs of improvement or development, even more so when he has World Class tutors in Giggs, Nani, Valencia and Evra who can control the flanks that he is paid to play in, then the question has to remain how long will he be at the club? Will be be another Tosic? Signed but never given the chance.
Out: 5) Tomasz Kuszczak
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Tomasz is a solid keeper. He is a good understudy to the first choice 'keeper. He is a good shot stopper and is very good at distribution.
Before signing for Hertha Berlin in 2000 he had played for various Polish teams at different levels. When he signed in 2000, he started the first year in the reserves. Impressing in his first season as a professional, he was promoted to the first team in 2001. He then spent three season with Hertha as third choice goalkeeper and did not make a single appearance for the club in competitive action. At the end of his third year, he was out of contract and with no signs of a game, he signed for Gary Megson at West Bromich Albion in 2004.
While at West Brom, between 2004-2005 he was number two to Russell Hoult. In that season he only made a handful of apperances, but impressing with most games he played, often winning man of the match. As he was cover, whenever Hoult was injured, Tomaz would be in, then as soon as Hoult was fit again, Kuszczak would again be out of the team.
The following season, Hoult was gone and future England international Chris Kirkland was signed initially on a season long loan. As Kirkland himself was quite injury prone, Tomaz found himself in and out of the team on a regular basis, making a handful of apperances here and there.
By the end of his West Brom career, he had made a total of 31 apperances in three years. With United struggling in the Goalkeeper department, Tomaz was signed on loan with the chance to sign permanently for £2 million. Since then he has made according to the United Website 51 appearances, but only around 30 of them in competitive games.
Why should he leave United?
When he has played for United he has done reasonably well. He made a couple of mistakes early in his Manchester United career, which left him at the start of the 2009-10 season as third choice behind Van Der Sar and Ben Foster.
As Foster had a shocker in this season when he was covering for an injured Van Der Sar, Tomasz was promoted to 2nd choice, going on to be superb in goal towards the end of the season.
At the age of 28, he will continue to be good cover for any Manchester United goalkeeper in the near future. The unfortunate thing for Kuszczak is, he is not good enough overall to be Van Der Sar' s replacement. Sir Alex knowns this and when the Dutchman decides to hang up his gloves, the first thing Fergie will do will sign his replacement.
The reason i believe he should go is for his own professional career. He was not even good enough as third choice keeper for Poland at the World Cup in South Africa. He is good enough to be a first choice for any other Premier League club. I just wish he gets the chance to prove himself and move on similar to Foster to earn the first team football he deserves after being an understudy for so long.
Others Who May Be Up For The Chop?
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After signing in 2008 for a £24 million before increasing depending on clauses to a staggering £30 million plus, much was expected of the experienced striker after successful periods with Tottenham, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Sofia.
On paper he seemed the dream signing that had the aroma of an Eric Cantona. He has a quality touch and awesome vision. On his day he can open teams up for fun. But he has not really taken to life at United. Fans at various stages have started to turn on him and question his selection. Questions have been asked of his effort and work rate. While Cantona was allowed to stroll around the pitch at his own pace, the reason he was given such freedom was because United fans knew at any minute the man will come into the game and turn everything around for the side. Berbatov unfortunately does not seem to have that same quality.
He would have been in my five potential transfers, but after an impressive start to the 2010-11 season could see him finally setting into life at Old Trafford. Finally!
Since signing for United in 2006 for approximately £14 million. Life started superbly at United for Carrick helping team win numerous league titles and a Champions League just to name a few. But in recent seasons, his career has not been as impressive as his earlier seasons. I for one really like Carrick and hope he stays, but in some matches he can give the ball away too easily when in profession. Also the old injuries he suffered earlier in his career as a youngster are starting to come back into his game seeing him out of the side more than he is in.
This is an important year for Carrick, while nobody will doubt his capabilities and passing range, rumours have circulated that Fergie has been looking to offload the England midfielder in this years summers transfer window. At 29, Fergie is considering selling while there is still a profit to be made which could be good business. But as a United fan, i feel that we should try to keep hold of him and give him a chance to prove himself as any other premier league side would love to have somebody with the talent of Carrick in their squads.
This is an really really important season for Rio. On his day he is the best defender in the world without question. But now the wrong side of 30, persistent injuries are taking their toll on his body. He is out the team more than in and seems to be unable to put back to back apperances in for the team.
His talent, experience are needed within the squad and he is a big personality in the dressing room. But with the emergence of Evans, the signing of a young Ferdinand-esk in Chris Smalling, world class Nemanja Vidic, then potential cover from O'Shea and Brown, unless Ferdinand can prove his fitness he maybe looking elsewhere in the not so near future.
I for one hope this is not the case, but Fergie always seems to get it right when he things a player is past his best as a United player.
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So who should Fergie look to bring in to improve the team????
With this potentially being Sir Alex's last team as our manager before retirement, who should he sign to take the side to the next level and help the side in their future endeavours.
In: 1) Philipp Lahm
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Player - Philipp Lahm
Club - Bayern Munich
Potential Cost - £15 million
Philipp is a superb defender who is equally as good going forward as well as defending. This signing would be superb business for United as the player is able to play on either flank, can take people on for fun and has a strong ability to cross and make chances similar to Evra. At the age of 26, he still has potential to play for another 7 seasons at least at the top level.
It would be quite a transfer for United, as the defender is widely regarded as one of the best if not the best in his position. Even though Rafeal will become number one in the future, Lahm is a ready made replacement for the soon to be retiring Gary Neville.
In: 2) Jack Rodwell
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Player - Jack Rodwell
Club - Everton
Potential Cost - £20 million
Manchester United have had a habit of signing young wonderkids and turning them into World Class superstars e.g. Ronaldo, Rooney, Beckham to name a few.
This boy screams Manchester United calibre. He is strong, physical, is the perfect athlete with a great engine on him. He would also provide excellent cover across the defence and midfield. This player is the future of England and i really can see him one day being a future England captain. Still only 19, he is already the finished article. He is being protected superbly by David Moyes. If he makes the move to United, the fans can only water at the mouths of the prospect they could have on their hands when our world class coaches get their claws into him. Credit to Everton, they sure know how to spot a talent and help them progress.
In: 3) Igor Akinfeev
Player - Igor Akinfeev
Club - CSKA Moscow
Potential Cost - £12 million
At 24, this boy is already the finished article. A commander in the box, great distribution, superb shot stopper and also vastly experienced on a european stage.
Igor has been in the first team of CSKA Moscow since 2003 when he made his first team debut at the age of around 18. He is also number one for his country where he has made over 40 apperances for the national side.
He reminds me a lot like Peter Schmeichel. United have been watching this goalkeeper for a long time, as have all of the european heavyweights. United know his calibre after being at the wrong end of superb performances against them in the Champions League last year. If United were to get their man, they will have to face a lot of competition with the potential cost rising above the £12 million minimum.
In: 4) Karim Benzema
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Player - Karim Benzema
Club - Real Madrid
Potential Cost - £22 million
Karim is a superstar who is much underrated in my opinion. At 22 years of age, he is already the complete article. Strong in the air, a great target man, he is able to score for fun. The French striker has high credentials. He has the ability to turn a game around from out of nowhere. He has a superb touch and vision which are not as appreciated as his other attributes.
Sir Alex has monitored the progress of the striker since he arrived on the world stage as a teenage in 2004. He would be the perfect partner for Wayne Rooney, himself only 24. He was due to sign for United in 2009 before Real Madrid came in with silly money to sign for them.
Since then, he has not really hit the ground running at Madrid and was not part of the French squad for the 2010 World Cup. Therefore United could be able to get their striker at a discount price.
But with Champions League and European experience, he is built for the Premier League. His record is second to none as well:
Lyon (112 games 42 goals)
Real Madrid (28 games 9 goals)
France (28 games 8 goals)
Nearly a record of one in three games. Remember, at Madrid and with France, many of these apperances came from off the bench also.
In: 5) Franck Ribery
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Player - Franck Ribery
Club - Bayern Munich
Potential Cost - £20 million
Although he is 27 which is a bit old in terms of United signings, since the departure of Ronaldo and the inconsistency of Nani, United have missed and out and out winger. Valencia was superb last year without doubt so the right wing is covered. With Giggs only having one possibly two years maximum, it is about time we have a winger with pure quality on the left flank. He can also provide cover on the right too.
Originally i considered an Ashley Young or an Aaron Lennon, but they too are inconsistent. I for one was calling for Adam Johnson to be signed before he was snapped up by City. He was young enough to be moulded into the United style while also having the neccessary experience in the Premier League to be ease into the side comfortably. Then there is Wesley Sneijder, but with him about to in my opinion win player of the year and quite rightly, Inter are not going to let him go at all.
As these three signings are non-starters then Franck is the man. Superb vision, superb control, superb ability to assist others and bring them into the game. Franck is the complete winger. He is able to score goals, has superb vision and can his pace is lethal. Although there are concerns with his injuries and temperament they are fixable. As Giggs and Cantona can vouch for. If this is a non-starter there is always his Bayern teammate and ex-chelsea player Robben with similar capabilities and talents, he is a year younger, but i dont think the fans would accept a Chelsea reject in the team.